Guidance for (Acting) Returning Officers administering a UK Parliamentary election in Great Britain

Working with the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO)

If you are not also the ERO, you will need to liaise closely with them to obtain the relevant registration and absent voting data. You should ensure that data protection is considered and that any transfer of data is secure.

If there is a need for exchanging data electronically, you should agree the timings for the exchange of data and ensure that a test of the process is carried out ahead of the first scheduled transfer. 

There will be updates to the data at a number of points within the election timetable, as the ERO must publish two interim election notices of alteration as well as the final election notice of alteration.1 The Commission has published a timetable containing the dates related to the publication of these notices. 

Cross-boundary constituencies

If, as (A)RO, you are responsible for a constituency that crosses local authority boundaries you should liaise closely with the ERO and elections staff at the other local authority/authorities to put in place arrangements for the transfer and receipt of data, including any updates following the publication of the interim and final election notices of alteration. As part of developing these arrangements, you will need to establish how you will manage the data you receive in practice, including whether your software system can process data received from the other local authority/authorities, particularly where they use a different electoral management software system. Further information on practical issues relating to absent voting in cross boundary constituencies can be found in Absent Voting.

Last updated: 19 December 2023